Chemical stability and colorant properties of betaxanthin pigments from Celosia argentea

Yizhong Cai, Mei Sun, Willibald Schliemann, Harold Corke*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


The chemical stability and colorant properties of three betaxanthins recently identified from Celosia argentea varieties were evaluated. Lyophilized betaxanthin powders from yellow inflorescences of Celosia exhibited bright yellow color and high color purity with strong hygroscopicity. The aqueous solutions containing these betaxanthins were bright yellow in the pH range 2.2-7.0, and they were most stable at pH 5.5. The betaxanthins in a model system (buffer) were susceptible to heat, and found to be as unstable as red betacyanins (betanin and amaranthine) at high temperatures (> 40 °C), but more stable at 40 °C with the exclusion of light and air. The three betaxanthins had slightly. higher pigment retention than amaranthine/isoamaranthine in crude extracts at 22 °C, as verified by HPLC analysis. Lyophilized betaxanthins had much better storage stability (mean 95.0% pigment retention) than corresponding aqueous solutions (14.8% at 22 °C after 20 weeks. Refrigeration (4 °C) significantly increased pigment retention of aqueous betaxanthins to 75.5%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4429-4435
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Betalains
  • Betaxanthins
  • Celosia
  • Colorant properties
  • Stability
  • Yellow pigments


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